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Ex-Malaysian PM arrested; Guotai Junan in Vietnam M&A; Taiwanese bank fined

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Ex-Malaysian PM arrested; Guotai Junan in Vietnam M&A; Taiwanese bank fined

GREATER CHINA

* Hong Kong-based Guotai Junan International Holdings Ltd., a unit of China-based Guotai Junan Securities Co. Ltd., is in active negotiations to acquire a majority stake in an unnamed financial firm in Vietnam. The company plans to fund the potential acquisition with cash.

* China-based Xiamen Rural Commercial Bank Co., Ltd. updated its proposed IPO of A shares, or China-listed shares, saying it would list on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and issue between 10% and 25% of its total shares, National Business Daily in China reported. Funds raised from the offer will be used to replenish the bank's capital.

* The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission gave the green light to Lujiazui International Trust Co. Ltd. to increase its registered capital to 4 billion yuan from 3 billion yuan, without changing its shareholding structure, China's Securities Daily reported.

* Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission fined Chang Hwa Commercial Bank Ltd. NT$3 million after it found that staff at the bank's Dongguan, China branch took 100,000 yuan worth of kickbacks in 2017, the island's Central News Agency reported.

JAPAN AND KOREA

* Japan-based Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. Ltd. lost its role as manager of the bond issuances by the city of Kyoto, Tokushima Prefecture in western Japan and Japan Housing Finance Agency after being reprimanded for market manipulation, people with direct knowledge of the matter told Thomson Reuters DealWatch. The development comes after the brokerage was reportedly dropped from managing bond issues by three local companies.

* Japan's Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. will form a business tie-up with Sony Life Insurance Co. Ltd. in foreign currency-denominated insurance, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported.

* Japan-based MUFG Bank Ltd. will form a business tie-up with Nihon M&A Center Inc. in business succession business for small- and medium-sized companies, The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun reported.

* South Korea's KTB Asset Management Co. launched a private equity fund worth US$30 million to invest in mezzanine debt of three shuttle tankers built by Samsung Heavy Industries, the country's Pulse reported. The fund aims to help the shipbuilders recover from a protracted industry slump.

* South Korea's Fair Trade Commission signaled a major-scale revision on the country's holding entity law, citing the result of its recent investigation which revealed that 55% of the holding companies' income came from inter-group dealings, The Chosun Ilbo reported. However, a stern level of resistance in the business circles is already seen as some companies spent up to 7 trillion won to set up holding companies and affiliates as suggested by the previous administrations to improve circular shareholding structures.

ASEAN

* Malaysian anti-corruption authorities arrested former Prime Minister Najib Razak in relation to a probe into how about US$4.5 billion allegedly went missing from state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd., or 1MDB, Reuters and the Financial Times reported. Najib is expected to be charged July 4 with abuse of power at SRC International, a former unit of 1MDB, from which 42 million ringgit were believed to have been transferred to Najib's personal account, Reuters quoted a source close to his family as saying.

* Generali Thailand, a unit of Italy's Generali, aims to invest nearly 100 million baht in 2018 to improve its after-sales service and build brand awareness in support of a rapidly growing customer base in the Asian country, Post Today reported, citing country manager Bundit Jiamanukulkit. The unit expects its gross premium income to reach 10 billion baht in 2018, Bundit said, adding that growth in the second half is likely to be higher than the first half despite potential high volatility in the financial market and concerns over the global trade war.

* Thailand's Government Housing Bank introduced a quick response, or QR code-based noncash payment service, aiming to reduce the number of loan payment transactions conducted at its branch counters at the end of each month by 30%, Post Today reported.

* PT Bank Muamalat Indonesia Tbk's shareholders agreed to appoint Ilham Akbar Habibie as president commissioner as well as independent commissioner, replacing Anwar Nasution, Indonesia's Infobank reported.

SOUTH ASIA

* India-based Federal Bank Ltd. is in discussions to buy Madura Microfinance in a cash-and-stock deal worth between 7.20 billion rupees and 7.50 billion rupees, The Economic Times in India reported, citing two people tracking the sector. The acquisition of the Elevar Equity Mauritius-backed microlender will help Federal Bank make a foray into microfinance and increase its priority sector loans, the publication said.

* Life Insurance Corp. of India's proposal to raise its stake in IDBI Bank Ltd. to 51% from 8% may not require parliament approval as that the deal does not call for changes on the law that established the insurer, or the LIC Act, Press Trust of India reported, citing sources. However, it may need cabinet approval after obtaining all regulatory approvals. In a separate report from The Economic Times, an official with knowledge of internal discussions said IDBI Bank Managing Director B. Sriram may get a five-year term under LIC after the proposed acquisition.

* India-based Punjab National Bank is downsizing its Brady House branch that was at the heart of a US$2 billion fraud, four sources with knowledge of the decision told Reuters. The lender was transferring a number of employees and big accounts to its large corporate branches for "better monitoring," one of the sources said. However, a spokesman said the bank has no plans to shutter operations at the branch.

* World Bank Group private investment arm International Finance Corp. invested about 6.40 billion rupees in India-based Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Ltd. via secured nonconvertible debentures, Press Trust of India reported. The fund will be used to ramp up the company's growth by extending loans to individuals, including farmers, and small and medium enterprises, according to a release.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is proposing responsible lending assessments for credit cards be based on whether the customer can repay the credit limit within three years. The proposed three-year repayment rule will apply to credit licensees providing credit or credit assistance in relation to both new and existing contracts from Jan. 1, 2019. The closing date for comments and submissions on the regulator's proposal is July 31.

* Australia-based Macquarie Group Ltd. will stop paying commissions to its financial advisers for selling the group's own wealth products to customers, beginning April 1, 2019, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. Macquarie joins Westpac Banking Corp. and other local financial institutions in abandoning the practice.

* Australia's corporate regulator began legal proceedings against Refocus Financial Group Pty. Ltd., its operator Brett Andrew Gordon and partner Heather Jean Swift, as well as Consultia Super Pty. Ltd., of which Swift was the sole director, over allegations that they used funds loaned to a related company for personal use. Gordon allegedly recommended that clients set up self-managed superannuation funds and advance unsecured loans to Diverse Capital Management Pty Ltd., which was placed into liquidation May 18.

* Australian financial comparison company Credit Card Compare acquired Singapore-based financial marketplace Finty.com for a "seven-figure" sum, DealStreetAsia reported, citing Finty in a statement. Finty said it will utilize the new funds to bolster its Singaporean operations and expand in other Asian markets. Finty is an online platform that compares credit cards and personal loans.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Middle East & Africa: Delek's Phoenix stake sale collapses; firms vie to run Abraaj's healthcare fund

Europe: SocGen to buy Commerzbank's EMC unit; Swedbank issues Q2 profit guidance

Latin America: Argentina raises deposit reserve requirements; Credicorp plans Bolivia expansion

North America: Fed helped Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley to pass stress test; 2 NC banks merging

Global Insurance: Centene closes Fidelis deal; Liberty Specialty rebrands; Sun Life's China plans

Janna Estares, Sally Wang, Sarun Saelee, Cathy Hwang, Emi White and Aditya Suharmoko contributed to this report.

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